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  ARTNET.COM IN THE NUDE has launched its grandest cross-platform theme event yet -- the three-week-long "Nudes," a festival of paintings, prints, photographs, art books and magazine articles dedicated to the undressed human form. The online auction has over 150 works for sale, including items by Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Picasso, David Salle, George Segal and Tom Wesselman. The bookstore is featuring over 30 titles dedicated to the subject, including Mel Ramos by Robert Rosenblum and the exhibition catalogue for John Singer Sargent: The Male Nudes. And there's lots more, including an updated Artnet Nude 100, a listing of the most expensive nudes sold at auction (due to be posted Friday, Nov. 5).

Irish protesant Rev. Ian Paisley has declared a holy war on artists Gilbert & George, according to a report in the London Guardian. The unionist firebrand, after receiving an invitation card for the artists' show at the Ormeau Baths gallery in Belfast, said the pair had "tainted the sacred soil of Ulster with their filth." Protestors singing hymns have reportedly gathered outside the gallery. Gilbert & George, who were pictured naked on the invitation, are exhibiting works from their "Naked Shit and Fundamental Pictures" series. Paisley, whose daughter Rhonda paints still lifes, is a founder of the notoriously homophobic Save Ulster From Sodomy campaign.

Beginning next September, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg will open a branch in Somerset House in London under the directorship of Geraldine Norman (author of The Hermitage: The Biography of a Great Museum). Six rooms are earmarked for rotating shows from the Russian museum's collection of three million items. The innovative partnership was plotted by Lord Rothschild and Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovski. Somerset House, a late-18th-century office building built in Baroque style, was for years the repository of British birth, death and marriage records. In 1990 the Courtauld Institute of Art moved into the building's north end; the Hermitage is slated for the ground floor. A new charity called the Hermitage Development Trust will raise funds for the cash-strapped museum.

Chicago developer J. Paul Beitler wants to evict the 11-year-old, 20,000-square-foot Chicago Athenaeum from its Michigan Avenue home and sell the building for $14 million so it can be turned into condos, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Museum president Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, whose collection includes furniture by Frank Lloyd Wright, is fighting the eviction in court. His lease prohibits eviction before 2009, but Beitler has a different version that permits eviction. Stay tuned.

Martin Puryear's special commission for the Getty Center in L.A., a monumental stainless-steel and bronze sculpture titled That Profile, goes on view at the center's arrival plaza on Nov. 23. Also on view is a selection of photographs and works related to the sculpture, Nov. 23, 1999-Jan. 9, 2000.

Germany's biggest art fair, Art Cologne, opens Nov. 7-14, 1999, at the Cologne Deutz FairGrounds. Visit the website -- -- or email

Sanford Smith's 14th annual Modernism fair, dedicated to furniture, art and design from 1880 to 1980, goes on view at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, Nov. 11-14, 1999. Over 75 dealers specializing in design and 14 photography galleries are represented. The show opens with a gala preview benefiting the Brooklyn Museum. Daily admisstion is $12. For more info email

The 20th Stockholm Art Fair, featuring some 160 contemporary galleries, opens at the Sollentuna Exhibitions Center, Mar. 9-12, 2000 -- with a vernissage on Mar. 8, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The gallery committee includes Ciléne Andrehn, Roger Bjorkholmen, Andreas Brändström, Goran Engström, Axel Mörner, Claes Nordenhake and Marina Schiptjenko, as well as Ilona Anhava in Helsinki, Jens Faurschou in Copenhagen and Bertil Bäckström from the Stockholm fair. For more info visit the website at or email

The exhibition "Adolph Gottlieb and the West," dedicated to more than 50 works from the seminal Abstract Expressionist's little-known 1937-38 stay in the Arizona desert, goes on view at the Tucson Museum of Art, Nov. 13, 1999-Jan. 9, 2000. The show is organized by Tucson Museum curator Joanne Stuhr and Sanford Hirsch, director of the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation in New York.

The Neuberger Museum in Purchase, N.Y., awards its 1999 lifetime achievement award to painter Helen Frankenthaler on Nov. 20, during the museum's Silver Anniversary Ball. An exhibition of 13 large-scale works from Frankenthaler's own collection is on view at the Neuberger through Jan. 2, 2000.

Fifty vintage prints by Brassaï (1899-1984) from the private collection of his wife, Gilberte Brassaï, go on view at the Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York, Nov. 11, 1999-Jan. 8, 2000.

Los Angeles-based art collector Eli Broad has pledged $100 million to support the nation's urban school districts. Broad, who is chairman of the Sun-America financial services companies, has personal assets that are estimated to be worth $4 billion, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Charlotte Perriand, 96, world-famous French designer and architect, died in Paris on Oct. 27. Perriand collaborated with Le Corbusier on numerous designs in the 1920s and 30s, including the classic club chair. She went on to fuse machine-age concerns of simplicity and functionality with Japanese esthetics, dubbing the resulting elegant style "Synthese des Arts." One of the founding members of the Union des Artistes Modernes, Perriand also worked with Jean Prouvé and Pierre Jeanneret (Le Corbusier's nephew). She was given retrospective exhibitions at the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts (1985) and the Design Museum of London (1996).

-- Adrian Darmon

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